[r63] Kids, veterans and local government: bills that work for you

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 15, 2013

It is an exciting time in Indianapolis as we continue to work through the second half of session.  Bills from the Senate continue to move in the House of Representatives for discussion and debate. This week we have begun to see final passage of several bills.

Among those is Senate Bill (SB) 153, which addresses the conditions under which a child between the ages of 12 and 18 who works as a youth athletic program referee, umpire, or official is exempt from the requirements of Indiana’s Child Labor Law. This legislation was inspired by a 13-year-old young man from Newburgh who spent months lobbying to state legislators so that he could referee youth soccer games this year. It waves the condition that a child acting as an athletic event official must be supervised by a parent or guardian.

Another notable bill is SB 290, which details that under certain requirements the Emergency Medical Services Commission may issue a temporary license or certificate to an applicant who has done military service. Specifically, this bill will help veterans become certified as medical providers if they have previous medical training. The legislation will work towards tackling unemployment of our returning servicemen and women. I am proud to say that this bill passed out of the House with a 95-0 vote and will now move to the governor’s desk for his signature.

SB 365 passed through the House this week with a vote of 96-0. The legislation is aimed towards helping utility companies and municipalities mediate major projects. Normally, when cities or companies want to take on major projects, they experience difficulties in moving utilities such as power and cable lines. SB 365 authorizes a unit of local government to create a contract with a utility concerning the relocation of the utility’s facilities. By outlining specific expectations in the contract, we are hopeful that more proactive approaches will resolve issues ahead of time, instead of after, limiting punishment and fees to local companies.

As we continue through the second half of the session, there are many other important bills that will be the focus of our discussions. To follow the movement of any of these bills, feel free to log on to www.in.gov/legislative.

I hope that everyone enjoys this upcoming St. Patrick’s Day weekend. I encourage you all to take advantage of the fun and festivities taking place in Ireland, Indiana’s for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.